Tuesday, January 10, 2017

What a difference a week makes...............

We had a snow day from school this last Friday. That means the kids only went to school three days last week. We had a "sicky" adult yesterday, that meant I was not home alone.

Is is that I am like velcro and not everyone can be gone at the same time every day now? Or is it that we just haven't gotten back in the groove again after the holidays? Or there is a third possibility. I am in need of alone time. Ding, ding, ding......that's the winner.

Alone is good, comfortable, pleasant, healing, soothing. I need all those things. I am a biotch and I embrace that about myself.

The shingles have gotten much better. No complaints there. The medicine was almost worse that the affliction. But I am on the mend. Still can't sit for too long but that's been a good thing because I have to "do" something. I have lots to "do".

This is the official, get rid of anything I haven't used in a year, month. That applies to all quadrants of the house except craft crap because, uh, I said so?

It's terrible, I have craft crap that is at least as old as GK. Not equipment but supplies. Am I really going to use all the bits and pieces I have accumulated through the years? I don't know. But I do know if I get rid of any of it, I'll need it within 6 months. It's the unwritten law of the IHA. International Hoarders Amalgamation.

And since my second favorite game (my first is to complain about the second) is hide the craft supplies from myself, I'm up and looking for all the things that have been moved, once again to accommodate the grands and Shelley's necessity to have room to live (some nerve). When someone else is home, they want to do strange things like talk, or go somewhere, or worse, sit down and be with me. It's a heavy burden to bear, this being a close family (sigh, 😽 wink, wink😼😼😼).

Yesterday, my sicky adult and I, went to the junk store. I found such treasures. A new hippie purse. A prom dress for GK. And two lamps that I can cannibalize to make one lamp which will be made from a stack of many of the cigar boxes as the base to be used in the living room.

We got our new living room furniture, it looks fabulous. Really makes the room appear bigger. We need more light in that room and since I "found" my cigar box collection in the garage, I am going to make a new lamp out of them. I also bought a drum. You know like the one from a drum set. That will become an end table. I'm hoping to be able to put a light on the inside of the drum after I paper the outside with vintage music paper. And yes, I will take before and after pictures and blog about them. Because I am sharing this year.

So my standing up is actually making me "do" some arting. And that is making me feel so very much better. I need to art. I used to art for at least 6 hours every day until the grands moved in. They are getting older, need me less and I can, if I only will, do so more.

In Meryl Streep's acceptance speech for the lifetime achievement award she received this week, she quoted her very good friend, the late Carrie Fisher. "Take your broken heart and turn it into art". I truly believe that. It has always been my brain cleaner, heart mender and soul patch. Not "doing" it for the past few years has, in fact, been detrimental to my mental health.

So thank you Shingles for attacking me in the butt cheek and making it difficult for me to just sit and think, which we all know can be a very dangerous thing. And now I'm up on my feet, pondering what I can make out of the 22 different sized cans I have in the garage for the spring and the garden. So much to do.

Happy Full moon day after tomorrow my lovelies,
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy everyone is back at work or school day..............

I don't sound happy, do I? This has been a very "eventful" holiday break for the Cuckoos. I'm still reeling from some of the excitement and bother.

Before I tell you of my yesterdays adventures I want to share my word for 2017 with you. I have prided (and thus goes the fall) on being a person who can see the many sides of any issue. But that isn't enough in many respects. I feel now that I need to act on what I feel is correct behavior for not just me but my family, my community, my country, my planet. In saying that, the word that selected me was COIN. Notice it's not a verb?

Coin is not an action word. But you can use a coin to make a decision, choice, winner, bet. I need to choose how I spend the lovely time I have left here in this realm. I shouldn't sit back and just spend the time foolishly.....but I do need to spend the time, thus the word coin.

One way I'd like to spend the time is sharing my life again. I got my feelings hurt last year after making a dreadful mistake in judgement when others decided to tell me how I should be living. Instead of speaking our for myself, I just let is go. Didn't have a fit. Didn't make an huge issue because that's how I got into the embarrassing situation anyway. But, I was miserable everytime I sat down to write about anything for fear I would be judged again, because my credibility had been lessened. Not true, but I let is keep me from many things I wanted to say, do, interact about. So to that nonsense I say, I flipped my coin and I am good enough even if no one reads, comments or reacts and I want to blog, so there. And so I shall.

On to the New Stuff, New Year.

Today, new living room furniture is being delivered. 2 and 1/2 years ago, Sweet Man decided that he wanted a recliner for watching TV. Don't tell anyone but he really just wanted to snore in the front part of the house and keep the rest of us walking as quietly as we could while carrying on the normal activities of the household. I should explain that what he came home with was a couch, a love seat and a recliner, all of which reclined. I was not thrilled but hey, he lives here and works hard and I usually get my way, so we have persevered with the ugly, brown, fake material,clunky recliners.

The dawn broke on a new thought process for Sweet Man when his back began bothering him more and more as he sat on his recline and snore devices. We all avoided long sits in the living room for that reason. All, except Joe and GK, they slept lots on that furniture. So after all this time we went right after Thanksgiving to look at couches. Found a nice couch and love seat, black, leather, short bodied for our short legs. The furniture will be delivered today.

I didn't want to have the Christmas tree and all the mess from decorating in the way when they deliver the new stuff, so I left "orders" with the Cuckettes yesterday to get the rest of the mess cleaned up. I was planning on doing it myself but I have a visitor and can't do what I want to do.

My new visitor is Shingles. Right on my left butt cheek. The Shingles are very close to where I have other business to conduct daily. So the family convinced me that I needed to seek medical help and so that's where Sweet Man and I went after going out to breakfast. Silly, because I could hardly sit through the meal.

You never really think of all the movement that goes on in your bottom area until there are pustules keeping your skin from moving. I have never (and I mean this) had something sting so bad ever. When the bumps first developed, I thought I was having another of my many dermatological episodes so I put tea tree on it. Well that helps some but the lidocaine that the Dr. prescribed helps more. The giant anti virus pills are a little daunting to swallow but anything is better than this mess.

Ry was so nervous today about going back to school. I don't blame him. I told him he has this covered. He is the only one who is in charge of his feelings and that he doesn't have to let the bullies get to him and to be wise about his reaction to them. I sure hope he does okay.

I think SM was relieved to go back to work because he had to prep the room for the delivery. I was under the effects of the pain meds and could have cared less about anything. Shelley wasn't excited to go back to work today. She wants to be here to help me but I'll be okay. I can open the door when they come with the new furniture and close the door when they leave. Not much else for me to do. The furniture deliverers will put the old furniture on the driveway and my friend Verna's guys will come and pick it up for her to sell at the Oscar Foundation's next garage sale. Easy Peasy.

It's a win, win for us all.

So what has the New Year shown you thus far? Good stuff? Trials and tribulations? Same old, same old?

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda πŸ‘€πŸ‘€πŸ‘€

Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year.............

I'm not sure I have any words of wisdom to give to anyone. I really don't care for this time of year. All the fun stuff has already played out by this time. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Yule, Christmastide. New Year's has never really been my thing.

When I was younger, I'd spend the night reading or crafting, staying awake until the declaration of a new year was announced. Never ever went out to a big shindig, never wanted to be out there with all the crazies. I'm a hermit and New Year's eve tells that tale very well.

Good food, family close, and some games. This year the grands, Shelley and the Olde Folks will be doing that very thing. We will begin our Harry Potterathon at about 10 am and go through the next day. We got ourselves a family Yule present of Harry Potter trivia. So we will play that, make "crazy" sand with sand, cornstarch and a bit of water (no it doesn't take much to entertain the Cuckoos) and then make some salt crystal pendants.

GK of course has a want to party like her friends, but her current boy type friend is in Arizona for a concert and the rest of the nerd herd are scattered this holiday. Ry would much rather just be left to play some of the new games he got for Christmas but we'll make him stay with us for part of the fun. Shelley isn't going out this year, so it will all the Cuckoos and no visitors or extras this year.

If I get a chance on New Years Day, I'll read books I ordered myself.  I got both of Anne Hillerman's continuations of her father Tony Hillerman's Chee and Leaphorn books as well as a photography book of Hillerman's big Res.

So I hope you will do what brings you joy as you welcome the new year and my hope for you is happiness, health and security as we walk into 2017

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

And so it has come to this..........

First let me wish you all a very Happy Yule, Solstice Blessings and salutations of the season to all of you.
Older photo of the grands but......there they are
The Cuckoos planned to sit around the firepit and roast hotdogs and eat black and brown marshmallows but this Olde Bagg's hips are not cooperating with the cold and so we will celebrate around a circle of candles and make do with hot dogs, bbq beans and cookies. So sad, what happens when the organizer of the extravaganza's goes for the comfortable not the traditional. Oh well.

Now to the issue at hand. Ry, my sweeter than sweet, kinder than kind and handsome grandson has had, as all 12 year olds do, a bullying time of it at school. Please do not think, I think he is the only oe. He has close friends, he has people he knows and then he has youngsters who for whatever reason just want to make his life more difficult. The interesting part of all this is that is has little or nothing to do with his Asperger's and more to do with the classroom environment.

Last year he had a male teacher and he learned more how to be a boy than any other subject. At his school, the classes are divided by gender and so the boys and girls of the 7th grade don't have that boy/girl tension that is usual in mixed gender classes. The however is, the boys don't have a male teacher this year. They have two very fussy, prissy female teachers (why yes that is a value call on my part). This means that the boys being boys, like they did last year is the last thing that is tolerated in the classroom. No more going out to the field to let them run off their boyness issues. No more treating them like they are just as valuable even if they can't sit still during some boring lecture. These two ladies also don't allow anyone to go ahead in their studies. Everyone must be on the same page at the same time.

Yes, having been a teacher myself, it is easier to teach if all the kids are in the same place, but let's face it, if that was the case, all of the kids would be automatons. It takes a person who is a real teacher to address the entire spectrum of levels and meet the needs of all of the kids. Something neither of these ladies is willing to try or do.

The reason I am irked is because this environment has brewed up some bad juju for all the boys. The kids were supposed to go to a play but because some of the boys were rough housing (no Ry was not one of those boys, although he could have been) all of them had to miss the play. And the teachers decided they would treat the boys with contempt by acting as though the boys were preschoolers for a week. No, shaming kids does not work, it only revs up the anti teacher, anti student feelings. I don't know where these two women went to school, but it wasn't on planet earth. I'm sure they like their paychecks and power.

So consequently, acting out is a common occurrance in the classroom. Ry, who was behind in math for so long has finally gotten the right size funnel applied to his head by his tutor and he is hungry for doing all the math. Going ahead got him in trouble, called out in class for not following the rules and so did the rest of the class because he went ahead in the book. The others paid the price for his new found love for math. He obviously was set up as a scapegoat and so the boys have continued to push, shove, kick and hit him. And the teachers have turned a blind eye. The principal just wrings her hands and does nothing.

We have always told him not to hit. "Being nice matters", but it doesn't mean that you have doormat written on your forehead. We have tried to talk to the administration, the teachers, the other parents of the boys who bully him and came to this spot in the road. RyLeigh has friends with whom he wants to stay in class. We don't want him to continue to be bullied. The School is not willing to do anything about this situation. So we came to another conclusion.

We have a family friend who, in his youth, was a gangster, literally. He is probably one of the nicest people now that he is grown but oh my the stories he tells of his youth. He loves my grands like they are his flesh and blood. His family is entirely in love with Shelley and the grands and that is so special. He has always told the kids, don't do what I did, listen to your grandparents and your mom and be respectful of them, but more, be respectful of yourself. He also has said, kiddingly, but not really, "once you break someone's nose, the rest of the bunch won't mess with you anymore".

My brother taught me to hit when I was five because the neighbor boy was tormenting me. I have always had a bit of a swagger because I always knew that if I needed to, I could deck someone and that gave me power (well not now that I'm old and not so able, but you know what I mean). So, we went to this family friend and said, teach him how to defend himself, oh wise one. So Ry has learned to defend himself. The lessons will continue with the punching bag and weights during break.

The knowledge is almost a burden to carry for him. But I know, if needed, he can strike back at these 4 boys. I am having him take a card with my cellphone number on it to both his teachers (waste of time) and the principal, so that "when" not if, he hits a kid in self defense, I can go pick him up. I hope that this will help him feel compelled to find hope in himself and move forward even if the school isn't quite up with us as far as wanting the best for him. We don't want to compel him to be a "meanie". We want him to start finding some confidence in himself because in this world we live in, he is the only one that he has on his side when he is not with his family. We all need to learn to count on ourselves and be our own well of confidence.

So here I am at my age watching my grandson find out what a good guy really does. He has the power to be good, do good and choose the right time for both. GK, I don't worry about her, she had it in her from day one to be strong and in control. Ry, like his Oma needed to be taught (why yes, he is my birthday twin).

My grands break my heart and heal it back up again in one moment with the knowledge of what incredibly awesome adults they will become some day. I am so proud. They are and will continue to be the best gift ever.

Happy Everything my lovelies,
May all your wishes come true and
all your problems be few,
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Recipe for truffles ................

You asked and I am here to please.

There are many recipes for truffles. If you look on Pinterest you could just lose your mind. I found this recipe and am sticking with it for the "drinky" ones.

Have fun and enjoy.

Just make sure you store these in different containers or you might not like the Kaluha, tequila, rum balls.

Kaluha Cream Balls or Truffles

3 Cup Vanilla wafers; finely crushed
1 Cup Pecans; chopped
3/4 Cup Powdered sugar
1/2 Cup Kaluha Coffee liquor or any other booze
3 Tablespoons Light corn syrup
1- 1/2 Teaspoons Unsweetened cocoa or you can use white or dark melts to cover them.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until well blended.

Allow to stand 5 minutes. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll
balls in powdered sugar (you can add some fine ground coffee also).

Allow to dry on wire rack 1 hour. Roll in powdered sugar again or powdered cocoa if desired or cover with chocolate.

Store in airtight
container between layers of wax paper.

This recipe also works with Bailey's Irish Cream, Fireball Whiskey (top with Red Hots), Spiced Rum, and last but not least, Tequila (add some lime zest and top them with sea salt.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy Krampus Day.............

There are so many dates in December to observe celebrations. This is my first favorite date, Krampus Day. Followed tomorrow by St. Nicholas Day. Here's a link to explain the who, what and where of Krampus.

I love the idea of the equalizer for those of us who have not been able to keep it nice all year. If I had known about this celebration when Shelley was a youngster, I'm sure I would have tortured her with tales of the Krampus coming to visit her. On second thought maybe it's a good idea that I came to this wondrous creature later in life.

GK, Shelley and I are always in for a little dark, murky, fiendish celebrations but the guys in this house. Uh, not so much. Sweet Man's heritage is Austrian/Native Amercian/Hispanic. He's the one with the very colorful array of boogie man tales in his DNA. So for him to deny his Krampus/Shapeshifter/La Llorna & El Cucuey roots is sad. (As Sheldon from BBT would say, "Hulk, sad.) Yours truly has faeries, pixies, leprechauns and the only saving grace (tee hee) witches in my own heritage.

So we (the nasty girls) took up the art of inky celebrations. Unfortunately, we are not finished with our own dark, swarthy, switch toting, chain carrying, children snatching effigies at this time, so here are a few of the bazillion pins from my Pinterest board of this marvelous creepy hulk.

Sleep tight, don't let Krampus put you in a cage my sweeties. And Happy St. Nicholas Day (joy, joy, happy, happy) tomorrow.

Gotta get back to making the shopping list for all of the thousands of truffles of every flavor that Ms. Shelley is making for her office mates. Rum balls, Oreo truffles, Lemon, Orange, Lavender truffles, Gingerbread cheesecake balls, Peppermint Schnapps, Firewater, Baileys, Kahlua, Mexican Chocolate, Chocolate covered cherries, Pumpkin, Funfetti, Brownie, Red Velvet and Spice cake mix truffles, just to name the ones I can remember.

Needless to say, we'll be up to our eyeballs in rolling balls this week.

What have you got planned to do for the upcoming frivolities???????????

Friday, November 18, 2016

Bad stuff happens to me when I go to............

Walmart. Not every time but most of the time. Rude people mostly. I do try to avoid it if I can help it. This morning I was feeling froggy, I guess.

I had already gotten all my most needed items at Sprouts and was driving to another plain old grocery store. I was thinking about fixing Turkey dinner for the first time in 5 years and I missed my turn. The road I was on takes the long way around a golf course that cuts the uppity part of ABQ from where the rest of us peasants live unless you turn at a little street called Seagull Street. Weird name for a street in the middle of the high desert but there used to be a seafood restaurant (damn good one) named that, thus the name of the street.

Since the long way would take me past a smaller Walmart, I decided to stop. Big Mistake. It was after 9 am so lots of very interesting folks were also getting their ingredients for Turkey Day and it was crazy crowded.

I had just scored some PJ's for Sweet Man and found a place in line behind two older men (about my age). They didn't have very many items and I thought, "I finally picked the right check out lane". I put all my stuff on the conveyor belt and had even placed the separation bar down for whoever would come next, when I heard a very loud and angry male voice.

I looked in the direction of the hub bub and there was this middle aged man screaming at the top of his lungs at a checker in her hijab. I could feel my legs start shaking and the next thing I remember was standing in front of him and telling him he had rights but one of them did not include abusing someone based on their appearance. He said, "Damn right I have rights and not having to put up with a camel jockeys brown ass bitch touching the things I want to buy is one of them". I shot back, No you're wrong, you could have picked any other lane and not been a "douche". You're doing this just because you think you can. Now just leave her alone. He started posturing with me, you know that stupid head and neck thrust (my male turtles do the same shit)  and then security cut in. At that point I wasn't even feeling fear but rather just unadulterated anger. I had no idea how it looked to others nor did I care.

The young lady was taken away in hysterics. The man was asked to go to another lane, to which he responded by throwing the items at the rent a cop and screamed his way out of the store. I was just standing there waiting. I had no idea what they would tell me to do. The lane supervisor came up behind me and asked me to rejoin my items in the next lane. I did. The young Hispanic woman who was my checker told me I was her hero. Because she has to put up with insults all day from people telling her she needs to get back across the border before the wall is put up and she can't. She told me her family is from northern NM and has been in this country since the late 1600's. I commiserated with her about the amount of stupidity when it comes to Hispanics in our state and said my family too has been here for 6 generations. We then found out that we have relatives in common. Happens all the time here in the Land Enchantment, for some reason everyone is from or knows someone from Las Vegas, Santa Fe or Taos.

As I was leaving, the lane supervisor stopped me and asked if I knew that man could have hurt me. Honestly, I didn't think about that until she mentioned it. I guess I've had my ire raised over the past couple of weeks enough that the pressure cooker had to explode and that hateful man was a pretty good target. The lane supervisor asked for my name so that they could thank me. I said no, just call me Oma and don't worry about the thanks. Then the store manager came up and asked me to be careful and then winked and said, "I thought I was gonna have to call the police and explain to them that a grandmother just took out a bigot on Aisle 17". We both laughed.

Another woman, who had been in the lane with the ass monkey, stopped me in the parking lot and asked me "what were you thinking when you confronted that maniac". I confessed, I wasn't thinking just reacting. I just was pissed when I saw what he was doing. She then said that getting hurt for someone else at our age was silly. I must have given her my best "eat shit and die" look because she walked away kinda quickly. Are you kidding me? You silly woman, what if that was your daughter, your neighbor, your friend? Would you have stood there and just let it happen? Probably.

Then I got out to my car, put my groceries and SM's new PJ's in the back end, sat down and cried, hard core. What the hell is wrong with this picture? What will we have to do to fight back against this stupid no holds barred attitude of closet assholes who now are out and feel compelled by the recent election to act out their hate filled rage? I need a drink, Valium and some potato chips, but I'm not going back in Walmart.

I didn't type this out to garner, way to go's. Sweet Man will be proud of  me but a worried upset with me for being the Aries that I am, no matter my age. Shelley cried when I told her and said, I'm so proud of you. I've always known you would die in a confrontation with a "mental midget" on principle. I wonder what the grands will think about me backing down a bully?

Lovelies, I hope you fight the good fight. It is worth it, even if afterward you wish you had been wearing Depends.

Smooches and Squoozes,
a very scrappy, Oma

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I really am a creature of habit............

Didn't used to be. I wouldn't know from one day to the next how my day would start or where it would end. But being the age I am now, I slow walk the morning in front of the computer every morning. I look to see who said what, how things are going and then if something has garnered my interest, I investigate.

This method has helped me help myself and my family. I do a lot of research, numerous sources and outside reading on many different subjects. Most of the time I'm looking for "things" that will help my family live our lives better, healthier, happier, with more smiles and better outlook on life.

this is not a photo I took but rather one I found on an image search, no name.....gorgeous
I got up this morning to start my day at my laptop in the cubby hole in the pantry which is now my computering area. I took off my "real" glasses and put on my computer glasses. I could not see the screen. It kinda scared me a bit. I took them off and inspected the glasses and discovered the reason I couldn't see. Dried tear drops. So many that the glass was slightly opaque.

I know I'm not the only one who finds "feels" on the internet and weeps. But lately, there have been so many more sad things to read. I try to skip the obvious ones that will make me angry or upset. But in general, I believe my mood, like so many others is more down than up.

I realize I am a enigma when it comes to what I say and what I do. I try to cheer people up most of the time or see the good in folks but am troubled and affected by the world surrounding me so very much. That too has changed with age. When I was young I considered myself a "ball buster", hard core, hard edged and ready to face what came my way. I was wild, spirited and full of it. Now I look back at those times and realize that I was brash, fool hearty and I sure am glad. I had a really good ride and had little to worry about. Now, well hell, you get it. Now I'm matured, measured, more in control but none the less a cry baby when it comes to reading, hearing or seeing any unkindness. I ache for those that are in pain, disenfranchised, abused, ignored, bullied or afraid.

Thus the no see computer glasses.

I also realize that I cry many more tears of anger, shame  and disappointment than pity or empathy lately. My favorite uncle used to call my condition, Old Eyes.

As to my last post, I must tell you that I posted my poxy picture so you could see how bad it had gotten back in July and then didn't explain. I apologize. I get ahead of myself a lot. That pox and the spider bite and many other ailments lead me to investigate many "could be" causes.

I found that I had a magnesium deficiency from the doctor and then went on to discover that I needed to do a liver cleanse with ACV, apple cider vinegar and raw honey and also knew I needed to cut out sugar and carbs. The magnesium oil that I use is a miracle cure and has helped with various skin, brain fog and muscle symptoms. No more leg cramps but I still had severe swelling in my feet and legs. Started the ACV and the swelling decreased immediately. I also am using essential oils for pain. That too has worked wonders.

Pain Gone
into 1 oz of carrier oil (I am using fractionated coconut oil) add:
2 drops peppermint
10 drops frankincense
10 drops lemongrass
4 drops oregano
2 drops lavender

I have also added these drops to a non scented lotion which is much easier to rub on. Although the role on bottle I have for the coconut version is handy to take in my purse for the just in case moments. I would never have thought that anything that smelled this good could take the pain out of my knee or back, but it sure does. However, I do smell like I've just had Italian food a lot.

1 tablespoon raw honey and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar into 6 ounces of hot water every morning. No swelling and I can wear every pair of shoes I own. I must say that it is an acquired taste but when I saw the results, heck yeah I could down that cuppa first thing in the morning.

I use 4 drops of magnesium oil which can be bought at any health food or vitamin shop on my thighs every morning and night. No leg cramps, less stiffness. The only negative is at first the oil stings a little. Now my body is used to it and I don't feel it at all, except the joy of knowing I won't wake up with leg cramps.

That's my regime along with some white mulberry and gurnar for gobbling up the sugar in my blood so that my pancreas doesn't have to send out as much insulin. A few inches are missing in my middle which is excellent.

My goal was just to feel better, and live healthier. Nothing but natural healing now and I'm loving it.

So this is a follow up to last post and a cry baby's tale of tears.

Hope your weekend proves to be a great one,
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, November 14, 2016

3.5 month old/update on the Cuckoos

I found this blog in my draft file. I know it's out of time (what isn't since the election) but I thought I'd share this, if for no other reason than the pix of the grands.  This was in late July.

It's been more that two months since I last posted. Lots has happened and so here we go.

School will start up again in less than 4 weeks. Doesn't seem like we've had 9 weeks go by but then again.....yes it does.

Ry is going to theraputic rec with the city for the last year before he will attend teen activity rec. He is 12, going on 25. This summer has been a challenge for he and I. He is trying to exert his authority and I am still under the misconception that I am the adult. Most of the time the mental scuffling is short lived but most adults would be put off by this skirmishing. Not me. I'm thrilled that he has and ego now and at last, that allows him to stand up for him. He is a delightful mess of a human and  I adore him.

Gerea has been drawing almost everyday of vacation and has grown another 2 inches this summer. I only thought she had the longest legs before now. Of course we have gone to junk stores to play dress up just like we have all her life. That is why she has the biggest closet of wonderful dresses for prom/winter ball/homecoming ever.
yes, this is a wedding dress. You should have seen the people watching her with this on. 

We had a super albeit late birthday party for GK and the herd of friends that she loves.

We had to cancel her bring your own pool party in June because so many of her friends were going to Costa Rica on a school trip. Bad choice of dates on our part. They were going to bring kids wading pools and all the idiocy that goes with teenagers and water and watch a movie using the garage door as the screen. Sort of a swim in movie party. The next party is the last weekend in July and is a bring your favorite pizza topping party. The movie thing will apply again and I will cook the pizzas on the grill. Yum.

We've had fun and accomplished many "have to do's" around the Casa. GK and her best school friend Stephen hired on to be my helpers this summer on Weds. Actually they work for a couple of hours and then I feed them, they then go to Stephen's to swim. (Not a bad gig if you can get it). Love their humor and the interaction of the two nerdy boneheads. Makes me laugh. Stephen is the one who is carrying her on his back at her birthday party.

They were going to paint the trim on the outside of the house and a few other jobs that have been on hold for such a long time. Well, the house painting was nixed by Papa Joe but GK finally got her furniture in her room painted. Cleaned out the pantry in the garage, did some much needed yard work and are in process of moving my arting room again.

If you have followed me for any length of time you know that I have the traveling circus of crafting rooms. Before the kids moved away to SC, (or hell) I had my craft "studio" right off the front patio, where people actually came in and bought things. Then when they moved back here (hallelujah) I moved my craft crap into the dining room/library. That meant we moved our bedroom into the old studio space and we still had 3 other bedrooms. Yeah, a perfect fit....except we have moved occupants and rooms a couple of times in almost 7 years.

When we figured out that we like to dine together as a family, we switched the dining room and living room. That is when my arting stuff moved to the breakfast nook and I was in there with a table, 4 shelving units and a chair. Not much room to move but I sure was close to kitchen. Then the brakes were put on my crafting for various health reasons about 4 years ago. There is actually dust accumulated on my supplies. Shame on my name. But I couldn't help not being "with it" to craft.

Writing this all down, I guess I see how really flighty I am. Oh well, you can't say it's boring around here.

The latest plague that has befalled me is my skin. First I had a continuing rash (fatty rash is what I call it), it went insane and I couldn't sit or walk without accute discomfort. Then, I got a black widow bite while out watering the front yard. Following by just a few days, I have contracted a terrible facial rash that seems determined to eat my face. Hot, swollen, angry and then, blistering and terribly itchy. I actually am including a picture so you can see how truly ugly it is. And I am truly, truly miserable.

I don't have shingles. I don't have adult acne. I don't have a skin infection. But there is some kinda terrible plague on my face.
Shelley and Joe are both doing well. Shelley has gotten another raise and many accolades for a job well done at her mortgage closer job. She bought another car for herself since the other one was coming apart at the everywhere. Joe is on hiatus from his voting volunteer coordinating job for the county. He'll be going back to work to prepare for the general election just a week after the grands go back to school.

Then I hope the house will be quite and I'll have less stress (good or bad) and I can enjoy doing some much missed crafting experiences.

Love to you all,
Smooches ad Squoozes, Oma Linda

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The night we made a real Halloween memory............

I know it's been two weeks since this event, but I was waiting for pictures from Sweet Man's camera. These are the only two surviving photos from his new camera that one of the cats knocked off of a table and messed it up. Yikes.

If you follow me on FB then you already know the Cuckoos had a blast on Halloween night. We set up our cinnamon and nutmeg enhanced cauldron over our orange halloween light, plastic recycle goods, spray insulation foam, painted embers. We turned on the fog machine and settled ourselves into waiting for the tricksy treaties to come into our lair.
three witches and "our dinner" guest
We hadn't plan on being quite as vocal or funny as we turned out to be. We channeled the three witches from Hocus Pocus. Every time a group of kids would walk up the driveway towards us, we would all say, "I smell children" and cackle. Even the big kids were taken aback and would approach slowly.

We even had to convince some kids that we weren't going to scare them. I just hate that. Playing pretend at this time of year is so hard because most folks just want to terrorize children. We just wanted to have them play along with our act of being the kind of witches that ate children. We had most of them in stitches with our banter.

One little one, oh I'd say about 3 wanted to know if she could give me some sugar, because she had never kissed a witch before. When she found out it wasn't so bad she wanted to kiss Ms. Shelley as well. And you know because we are fluent in Autism, that we recognized some of Ry's tribe members and treated them a little different. Sensory overload is so mind boggling to those on the spectrum and 3 idiot witches have to mind their p's and q's.

We had the snarky teen age ones as well but here's our secret weapon for their kind. Ry dressed up as the devil. He sat, like a bunch of stuffed clothes in the corner until after "older" ones got their candy and were starting to leave. He would then get up when they had turned their backs and followed them down the driveway. I can't tell you have funny it was to see this bad ass grown children freak out. We told them to be nice so that it wouldn't happen to them again. Big bunch of woosies.

When GK and Stephen took Ry out to gather ye candy while ye may, they passed groups who were telling other groups that they needed to get to our street and check out the crazy witches. One lady even told us she heard us singing "BOOOOOOOK", just like in the movie. We can sure call some pigs, er children. The best part was how much the parents of the youngers told us they appreciated how much trouble we had gone to and how special we had made the night for their kids and them as well.

Thing is, we had so much fun, we'd do it again and again. Maybe, goddess willing and creek don't rise, we'll be able to do it again next year.

Hope you had a great night as well.
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, October 31, 2016

Who remembers Donny and Marie and their show on TV?????????????

She would say, "I'm a little bit country", he would follow with "I'm a little bit rock 'n roll" and off they would sing into their hour on TV.

Well this last Saturday, the grands had a similar song. She was a little bit Halloween and he was a little bit heavy metal. What?????????

Shelley, Gerea, Stephen (GK's best friend) took Ry (age 12.5 years old) to his very first live concert. There were 9 bands in a small venue.

Shelley was that age when she went to see Scorpions and White Snake with her flute teacher, Laura who was 18. I have never in my life been all that fond of metal. I never wanted to go and see any of those spandex wearing, huge hair, head banging children when Shelley was a kiddo. But I did so every afternoon after school watch MTV with her and inadvertently, I learned the melodies (when there was one), the lyrics, the names of the band members and so much more that I never wanted to know because, I was sharing an experience with my child. So now when I hear elevatorized versions of metal I giggle and smile. Or when we are out shopping and some metal something comes on, Shelley or GK will look over and say, "who's this, Oma?" Most of the time this olde broad has the right answer. I can't remember the normal stuff most of the time though.

Music plays a huge part in our family. Not just one kind either. All the way from classical to swing, to rock to indie and back to metal.

Shelley has been going with GK to concerts for years. GK's first was when she was 13. Fun fact, it also was Scorpions.

So, it was a perfect storm for Ry when the girls found this great small venue where the moshing is manageable, the local bands have something to offer for head bangers (goddess, I never thought I'd be typing this) and it doesn't cost a fortune just in case Ry's inability to handle loud noises for very long kicked in and Shelley had to bring him home. Stephen's cousin runs the front and the merch tables at this club and Stephen helps out at the front door, so it is sorta a family affair and comfortable.

Anyway, Ry was so excited to go. He took his headphones to cancel out some of the racket. And GK dressed as a wench of sorts Stephen as Robin Hood and the four of them headed out to see GK's new favorite bands, Shatterproof, from Denver and Scarless, a local band and the other unknown 7.

It wasn't long after they got to the concert that a mosh pit formed and even though the girls and some of their friends that joined them were surrounding Ry, he got shoved and got really scared. So Shelley took him outside, explained moshing (and the fact that someday, he could join in and shove back), and let him calm down. In doing so, he was able to see inside and realize that it wasn't as big a deal as his fear had let him think so, he wanted to go back and try it again. He ended up loving the music, the craziness and the fun with friends.

Ry with his hand in the air like just does not care......Home reference

The bands know both GK and Stephen now and interact with them on a personal level. When the bands were able to be introduced to Ry, well, they (the bands) made it special for him by pointing to him in the audience, giving him guitar picks, signed posters etc. Even in the land of Metal wantabees, people are still nice deep down. The lead singer for Scarless told Ry that he was so proud of him for making it through to the end of the concert and wanted him to feel welcome to come back again. Some of the other folks there also got into being good to Ry and eventually Ry even went with some "girls", to dance and head bang, a short distance from Momma and Sissy.

lead singer from Scarless

He's gonna have some stories to tell at school today about the blue haired girl who had him dance with her and the blond who was showing him how to head bang. Wow, what a crazy world for an almost 13 year old kid who just a short time ago was still so introverted and scared of so much. His sensory issues obviously are not gonna keep him from the music and the mayhem anymore.

GK said, with tears in her eyes and voice that she had the best time watching her brother blossom right in front of her eyes. Shelley picked the perfect, safe and sane way to introduce Ry to the world of Metal, heavy or other wise. The night will be a memory that the three of them will have for a lifetime. Good thing that the neck aches from head banging will be gone in a few days.

And the Oma stayed home. Score.

Friday, October 28, 2016

And the winner is................

I had such a great time constructing the "Veil Keeper" for my story and the Witches in Fiction 2016 hosted by Ms. Magaly.

I asked all of you who commented to give that doll a name. I loved each and every one of your thoughts. So I took your names, put them into a pumpkin and had Ry draw a name of the winner of another doll that I am still in process of making. She is almost ready but I need to let beverly e know that you are the winner of this soon to be finished doll and of course her name is Treorai (tror-ee), which is Gaelic for Guide.

Happy Happiest Halloween, Blessed Samhain, Happy New Year all you pagans, and Brightest Blessings to all of you lovelies that make my life better just because you're there. 

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thursday, October 27, 2016

part two because Google is being a fool child and won't let me post the rest of the photos.........

Then I wanted to have a make over doll for Dia de Los Muertos. Found this cutie pie at the Junque store and primed and painted her in the Muertos sugar skull style and created a dress for her from tissue paper. Now she's ready to join our ofrenda, altar to our ancestors which I will show you next week.

Here are some goodies I have received from some of the lovelies that make life a whole lot more pleasant. I received cards from Gina and Debi. Polished stones from Stacy. And prints of my dear Cee's paintings. Each of these sweetie pies live outside of the US and I do so appreciate your love sent my way.

And lastly for this tour de Hallowoonie, are some of our decorations. We did not go all out inside the house because of the constant cat race that is daily life here at the moment. Fattycakes, the old white love watches mostly, although she has been known to throw a monkey wrench in the plans of the others by being in their path. Chandler the enormous beast chases the others and torments them until the demure and delicate black beauties, who are half his size and third his weight, turn on him and slap the daylights outta him. But the worst are Uma and Niamh aka the black beauties. Uma was the baby, pampered puss before Niamh the interloper came and spoiled that bit. Jealousy is the watch word for those two. So they take turns making the other scream and knock things off of shelves, cabinets, tabletops etc. That is why we decided that the Hallowoonie Tree ornaments would be safest left in their crates in the garage this year. I'm not sure what we'll do about the Christmas tree but we do have awhile before that decision.

Shelley bought me this motion sensitive, screeching black cat because it just seems fair to torment the outside world like we are tormented inside. The funny thing about it is that when we set it up outside in the patio, Chandler the humongous just about lost his mind. He was so frightened. Poor little thing. Every time the cat sounds the arrival of someone to the door now, Chandler the fraidy cat makes a bee line for under the bed. What a puss.
yes this is a real pumpkin. I don't know what kind it is but it is really reddish
The outside usually shines like a beacon to the passing aircraft with all the blow mold and other lights we have, but this year, I couldn't climb to get all that nonsense down, so I decorated a little more quietly.

This huge plastic cauldron is another giftie from my girl. I saw this Pinterest entry where you can age anything to make it look rusty. And by golly this really looks like it is. And another benefit, it smells heavenly. The trick is primer so you can paint on the plastic and then just black and brown acrylics, and while the paint is still wet, put on some cinnamon and I added nutmeg because it gave it the texture of rusting and then when it dries, coat all that with modge podge. I'm really excited to see how the neighbor kids like the new Maiden, Mother and Crone schtick we will have going on out front.

Who could have a cauldron without a fire, right? Well I thank Pinterest for that as well. Glowing embers no less (here's the link). You take cardboard, orange lights, plastic bottles, containers, spray insulation foam, primer and there ya go. I spent more time cutting the plastic containers and affixing them to the cardboard over the lights than anything else. At night, it looks just like it should be hot. We'll have the fog machine inside the cauldron and the scene will be all set. Pictures of that to follow as well. This fire looks so cool that we are going to make one to go into our unusable fireplace. At least then we will have the ambiance of hearth fire and can enjoy that. Back to hoarding clear plastic bottles again.

Hope you're all ready for the trick or treaters, I know I am.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hallowoonie do's here at Casa de Cuckoo.................

Having just gotten my energy back (a little bit at a time), I'm back to crafting, so I have been working on some projects.

I made this string art from old barn wood, the back seat springs from a 1930 something car my neighbor put out for the trash. I am going to do more to it with glass beads and bits but then I needed to get ready for Halloween.

Made these glass topped canning jar captured creatures. A witch with her familiar, a fairy with mushroom, and a lovely moldy dragon. I saw this idea at Pixie Hill Studios, the uber talented Nichola aka Knickertwist made these wonderful fairy jars and I just had to do some as well. Here is a link to her tutorial.

Then I reconstructed an old plastic collection doll that I found in a group of old new stock at a garage sale. I used to play with my sisters collection dolls and always thought they were so cool. So I recreated a Halloween doll that ultimately became the "Veil Keeper" for my entry into Ms. Magaly's Witches in Fiction 2016, spelling and healing into a rotting world. I asked my visitors to name the doll. They didn't know but I am in process with yet another of the "old stock" girls and have drawn a winner for my own giveaway. That announcement will be on Friday.

Google just died and wouldn't let me post any more photos. But I will live to fight the good fight tomorrow and finish this post.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, October 24, 2016

Almone Bankly.........cellmates

After several days of just sitting and waiting for what happened next, Almone's group had talked about everything with each other. Family, towns, jobs, what they did for fun, what was the worst thing that ever happened to them, not counting being captured and more.

The door flew open and one of the pinks came in and took Brell, the winged creature, first. She was gone for hours. Korman and Almone didn't speak each other's languages but both were very concerned for their cell mate. They shared their concern by their looks at each other and the door.

When Brell was thrown back into the cell, they were even more concerned. Her normally purple skin was covered with welts and was much more magenta than purple. She had labored breathing and looked so very weak.

The pinks turned towards Korman, he was next. He screamed and kicked and tried to bite the pink one. His actions were met with a blow from a prod which rendered him unconscious. The pinks dragged Korman away without any more drama.

Almone sat down next to Brell and smoothed her wild hair. After only a few moments, Brell looked up at him and smiled. She was so glad to awaken in a friendly place. She told him of the torture and the questions that were asked of her. "Was she a magickal being?" "Did she have extraordinary powers?" "Did she know why she had been taken?" Brell told Almone that all these questions were very confusing because of course she was a magickal being, she had wings. And no she didn't have extraordinary powers for someone from The Forgotten Forest. Then she asked her captures why she had been taken and that's when they had used the prod on her.

Brell asked Almone if he was a magickal creature? Almone answered, no. And he certainly had no special abilities except he could make his ears move. They both laughed at that and then settled on the bench waiting for their captures, thinking that Almone would be taken next. But that never happened. Their cellmate Korman never returned.
artwork by GK
Instead the days marched on and turned into weeks. By now the two knew everything there was to know about each other. The two were so tired of this place, the terrible rations they were being fed and the worst part was not knowing what was coming next. Their lives were nothing more than the more in depth conversations about their lives, small metal benches, semi darkness day in and day out, and having nothing to do. They did try to exercise every day and that seemed to make the time pass.

The two were doing some exercising when the door opened, the pinks came in and took Brell away again but it wasn't long before Brell and the pink one came back into the cell and Almone was taken away.

He was strapped to a chair, and a rag with that same awful smelling chemical was forced over his face. The next thing he knew he was on the floor of the cell and Brell was excitedly whispering to him. "They've decided to let us go. Get up and let's get out of here before they change their minds." Almone couldn't even gather his thoughts but stumbled after Brell as she flew towards the end of the corridor. It wasn't long before they were out of doors. The air was clean and cool. The sun was much lower in the sky now with the weeks of being held captive it would be getting on to autumn.

She flew, he stumbled and they made their way away from this horrible nightmare and into the forest. Almone had no idea where they were going but Brell was making him stride on, even though he didn't have the strength.

It would be nightfall soon and he insisted that they stop and make some sort of camp before it became pitch black. They could wait for the moonrise and then he could chart his way back to his home by the stars. Brell said she would love to see where Almone lived and they made a plan to go there as quickly as they could.

Brell found a branch on which to rest. Almone lay on the ground waiting for stars in the night to come and rescue him. Before the night stars revealed themselves Almone fell into a peaceful sleep for the first time in weeks. Or at least that is how it was perceived.

As soon as he heard her flutter away, Almone opened his eyes. He had a bad feeling about his new friend. All the while they were incarcerated she kept asking him about his master's house, where things were kept, how many other servants there were. Why would that be considered idle conversation, he wondered? Also Brell and the white, Korman would communicate, all the while staring in Almone's direction. That seemed odd too. But the thing that convinced him not to completely trust her was the welts she had come back with on her body. They disappeared after only a few moments. That just didn't quite make sense to him.

Almone just didn't believe Brell's actions. They never really added up to what was happening around them. Now she had left him in the middle of the night. This was his chance to get away from her as well.

He looked up into the sky, got his bearings and then a shudder of panic ran through him, just like a cold wind had blown, what if she was watching him? What if she was planning on following him? He would have to be careful and wary as he made his way home. He also decided to make a little stop along the way to make sure he wasn't being followed.

Almone set off on the path to home by way of an old friend, in a manner of speaking.

Almone will return in some additional chapters after the 2nd of November. 
I'll share the fun we are having here at Casa de Cuckoo in preparation for Hallowoonie and Dia de Los Muertos.
Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Veil Keeper and a spell.........WiF 2016

This is my entry for Witches in Fiction for 2016. Click on the link to get to all of the entries and enjoy the reads.

As a youngster this type of collection doll was everywhere in the 5 and 10 cent stores. I found some new old stock at an estate sale and it made me happy and sad.

Happy because it gave me a great deal of inspiration to find 3 "naked babies" waiting to be assigned their tasks in life and sad because this person was "going to get around to finishing this project" but either never did or worse ran out of time.

All the way home I kept thinking how we all wait until the last minute to get projects done, hopes achieved, dreams attained until we have the time. But sometimes, we run out of time. Must be because I am in the later part of my life that I ponder such things. So I knew this little lady was going to be the Keeper of the Veil. I've always believed that the Keeper doesn't let the spirits into the world of the living, but makes sure they can find their way back to the other side. She is their guide to return to what should be their place.

The lantern is a small copy of a spirit lantern used in the 1920's as a Halloween decoration and would serve as the beacon to those spirits.

Lots of tales have been written about spirits coming back into the world of the living to do what they deem undone. Whether that is to haunt, to observe, to correct or to mourn their own lacking in this life. I think that is magickal. The chance to be back among the living.

We welcome a visit from our ancestors not for our own comfort but for theirs. It should be that we also combine our magickal abilities to bring about a change in this world for the same reason. Not for our own comfort but for the comfort and well being of all that are, have been and will be in this world. The circle requires that our working together and alongside one another in magick will take this mell of a hess that exists and turn it into a life worth living and sharing.

My little Veil Keeper reminds us that we don't have all the time required but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't make an effort to be a part of each others plan to rid the life we are living from the ugliness that pulls all of us down.

Celebrate the possibilites of what magick we spell crafters, we magickal beings can work. Whether you pray, chant, paint, create, grow, mix, blend or just ponder the question, join in to combine the hope for our world.

Name the Veil Keeper in your comment and get another chance to win her in Magaly's drawings. Read all the reads and enter the other contributors giveaways. Have fun.

Thank you for coming by to see my spell, cast for all of us, to live in a beautiful, peacefilled world by working together. So mote it be my lovelies.

xoxo Oma Linda (ps, I know there are some of you who are saying to yourselves.....she really is an old hippy. And you'd be so right. Stick a flower in the gun of this worlds ugliness and know it is a good thing to do. Peace)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Almone Bankly, the cages.................

Almone couldn't quite open his eyes. There seemed to be something keeping him from doing so. He would have felt what it was but his hands were tied behind his back. And he was laying face down so that made getting his bearings even more difficult. But he could smell the dirt in front of his face and also felt how warm it was on his backside. Must be in the sunlight, he thought. Then he drifted back into that chemical sleep.

Next when Almone awoke, he was able to see and what he saw was not like anything he had seen before. He was way above the ground now, in a cage with other beings. Some he recognized as his countrymen but some of these creatures were nothing like Almone. Their skin, facial configurations and speech were unrecognizable to him. The ones on the outside of the cage, with prods in hand, were pink and much larger than the captives. The creature right next to him was whiter than any snow he had ever seen. Where in the world was he? Who were all of these creatures? And how did he get here? The last he remembered, he was at the crossroads waiting for the tailor.

He didn't have to wait long for an answer of sorts. He saw the most amazing and frightening thing. A box on wheels that was self propelled and it was moving towards where he and the others were being held in cages. The pink ones where pointing in his cage's direction. Soon his cage was being lifted into the belly of this miraculous box along with other cages. When the last cage fit into the box, the huge silver doors closed and all went black around them. That's when the cries and screams began. Then a horrible sensation, Almone knew they must be moving.

Time went by slowly and the crying did eventually die down. But that was replaced with the sound of beings being unwell and retching. It was all Almone could do to not do what others where doing. Crowded in on one another, the heat, the smell, the sound were almost more than he could endure.

Suddenly the movement stopped and the doors opened. The fresh air was whooshing past him and he was glad of it. Then the moving of the cages began in reverse of the loading process. At this time, the cages were lined up in a huge building, the likes of which Almone had never seen. Wherever he was, it seemed to him that all things were made of metal, even this huge building.

Almone noticed his cagemate was on the floor of the cage and was not moving. He bent over to see if there was anything that he could do to help but just as he reached out to touch the white being, a searing pain went through his shoulder. One of the pink ones in blue clothing used his prod on
Almone and the electrical shock immobilized him. He too dropped to the bottom of the cage. That's when he noticed a small, scared looking creature with wings up at the top of the cage, trying not to be seen.

She was about the size of small child, slightly watery purple in color with sparkly wings and every time she shuddered from fear, he would hear a slight ringing of an invisible bell. She was so fragile and beautiful looking. He wished he could make her not feel so afraid, but he really didn't want to encounter the prod again so instead he winked at her and she shyly giggled at him. Almone felt like he had made a new friend and was very glad of it.

Their cage was tossed about as it moved down a big moving ribbon attached to the floor. They sped along until another group of pinks grabbed their cage with a metal hook and pulled them off the ribbon. There he, his winged friend and the white creature were taken out of the cage, moved through a door and into a small room with a window on the door and small benches along the walls. It was small, also metal, but at least there was somewhere to sit until?

The white creature had regained consciousness and was crying and moaning as it made it's way to a bench on the other wall. The winged creature had taken up a spot not too far from where Almone had decided to sit. Almone now had some time to wonder why he had been taken from the crossroad and who these other creatures were?

His thoughts were interrupted by the winged creature when she spoke. "Who are you, what are you called, why are we here"? All of these words sounded like music not someone speaking but he understood the words. The white creature started to speak to the winged creature. But it was not in a language that Almone understood. How could that be? He understood what the winged creature had said in his language but how could this white being be speaking to her? It appeared as though the she understood him as well. At least he thought the winged creature was a female and the white being a male. At this point, Almone wasn't sure of anything.

The winged creature told him that her name was Brell and that the white being was call Kormon. She was from The Forgotten Forest and that Kormon was from a place called Sconmat which lay over the mountains from her forest to the north.

Almone introduced himself and told them where he was from, The Kingdom of Neg. Neither of them had ever heard of Neg. Brell did the interpreting for the group and they all soon realized that each of them had been alone and far from home when they were taken. And none of them could answer the last question as to why they had been kidnapped and brought here. Wherever, here was.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

A new story..........Almone Bankly at the Crossroads

Almone Bankly saw the signs of the ancient crossroads before he ever got to the site. The surrounding trees and outcroppings were all worn down from the massive long ago traffic of this trade and travel route. His master courtiers tole him all of the stories they knew about this area before he was assigned this task. The tall trees were parted as though showing reverence to a long ago time.. There was a sense of wonder that came upon Almone as he finally eased his horse down to a trot after 4 hours of galloping to this destination.
artwork by the lovely and talented GereaKaye
He certainly would not have chosen this trip through the back roads and thickets if he had his way but as an apprentice to his master, he had little choice as to the way in which his days were spent. Only 1 year, 2 months, 3 days left on his apprenticeship and then he would break out on his own, down a road of his own choosing.

But he had to admit, that this visage was certainly one of wonder and awe. No one had used the "road to eternity" for at least 40 years. New roads had been commissioned by the King and the law which included travelling passes were enforced by the magistrate. The new crossroad was more that a days ride from where he was right now and none, save those with special permits, were allowed to travel this way. Not since the youngest prince of the realm and his all 23 of his men had disappeared on this very spot, without a trace, except for one sword twisted beyond the strength of 10 men into what could only be described as a puzzle piece and a note saying, "there will come a time for payment". But not one word had been heard in 40 years, and so here Almone was in the exact middle of the ancient crossroad with a permit, waiting for a man, he had never met.

The hair on the back of Almone's neck prickled and he saw goose flesh fall down his arms as he dismounted his horse and tethered her to a rein ring, one of several at the side of the crossing on a tall tree that had been felled for that very purpose. Then a thought came to his mind. Why would a place that hasn't been used in decades not have the kind of overgrowth he had experienced on the trails along his path to this crossroads? This was more than odd. The area for 50 meters on each side of the exact crossing was well manicured, as though someone had taken the care to make it look well used but beyond that 50 meters the area was overgrown with flowers, herbs, bushes as well as small trees.

He looked at the sun and realized he had at least and hour before he was to meet the person he had been tasked to fetch. So ignoring the mounting uneasiness in his chest, he got some bread and a jug of wine from his saddle bag and found a shady spot, created by his horses shadow and took advantage of the down time.

Almone sat on the ground, tore the bread in half, and began pondering. This was just his luck to have been in the house kitchen when the master had come looking for someone to go on this journey. If only he had gone to the stables first, then someone else would be out here in the middle of nowhere. Of course he was always in the wrong place at the wrong time according to his shrew of a mother. She took any and all opportunities as he was growing up to tell him that he was the worthless third child of a no good gambler. That statement, as he grew to be a man, didn't make him feel bad for himself as it had when he was a child, but for his father because he couldn't have been a very lucky man to have gotten that shrew pregnant not just 3 but 5 times. He laughed out loud and startled the horse. She voiced her objection to his interruption of her grazing with a stomping of her hooves.

As he looked at her he saw what could only be explained as little lights flashing in the woods. He slowly drew his blade and held very still. As he watched, the lights one by one faded away. The woods were dark and the birds were still singing, so he thought himself just a reactionary giving into some of the tales of hauntings and strange happenings that he had heard back at his masters manor. Almone dismissed the lights as nothing more than his vivid imagination. He would go on a walk as soon as he finished his food and drink, head in the direction of the flashes of light and investigate.

Once again he became distracted and pondered. Why would his master need a tailor from the other side of the kingdom? There was no event or ball in the coming months that would require any new clothing, at least not to his knowledge. Maybe his master's daughter had finally accepted a marriage proposal. But that would only require a dressmaker, not a tailor. And not just any tailor was expected shortly but the finest one in the kingdom, except that of the the Kings staff of course.

His brother Amos worked in the King's palace as an assistant pastry chef. Almone himself hoped he would be able to find work in the city of the palace after his apprenticeship had ended so that he and Amos could at least see each other. The rest of the family had scattered after the latest raid on their coastal home. Inland was the only safe place to live now. Almone had no idea where his older sister, and younger brother were. He assumed they were with his mother but no one knew. His oldest brother Alphonso had been killed in the last war. That's how his mother and siblings managed to live on their own, because they received his brothers soldier's pension. As far as his father, he hadn't seen him since he was 12. Just as well, he really was just as his mother had railed, a no good, nare do well, with a bad temper when he drank, which was all the time.

Almone finished what he wanted of his provisions, wrapped them up, stood and put them back into the saddle bag.

As he turned towards the crossroad, he saw a huge cloud of dust appear on the horizon in the direction from which he expected the tailor to arrive and then suddenly a burlap bag was yanked over his head, a strange acrid smell met his nostrils and then blackness.

Yes, it is that time of year when I start thinking of spookiness and mysterious happenings. So I have written a short story and hope you will enjoy it as it plays out over the next few weeks.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Zombie Luau.................

First, the party didn't go quite as planned. What does, right?

GK had invited 20 friends. Ry invited 5 friends. Shelley and I asked them to find out from their friends if they were coming because apparently RSVP is not a code for anything in this day and age.

Anyhoo, on the Weds before the party all of Ry's friends had said they were coming. Only 2 of GK's friends were coming because they thought with a name like Zombie Luau, it would be in October. Yes, they could have read the correct date on the invitation but...........read, what's that?

GK was so disappointed. She was glad that her friend and fellow soccer player was still coming. The other two were no shows. Needless to say, the party was not a hit with her. However, since this was the first time that Ry has ever showed interest in having friends over, Shelley lost her mind and went out and bought Nerf ammunition and the boys played war in the front yard.

The boys ate the food we fixed, sweet and sour meatballs, Hawaiian pizza, fruit salad, zombie pretzels, zombie boogers and aloha cupcakes. Washed that all down with AB+ zombie punch.

I have never been so glad to see 4 little boys go home in my life. Now remember I used to work with teenagers and prepubescent teens for 20 years. But I guess the emphasis should be on "used to". I was gonna strangle a couple of them. No manners, not even a glimmer and loud, it was apparent that no parent has ever explained "inside voice". But we all lived through it and Ry was a happy boy.

It will be awhile before we will have another party here, sad to say.  Win some/lose some and sometimes a soccer buddy is more fun anyway.

All the pictures are of GK and Stephen because Ry was off shooting up the neighborhood, his sister, his Oma, his Mom with nerd artillery and then Papa went out and joined the other madmen (boys) and he had a blast getting shot and ambushing the kids.

So there's the whole of the take on Zombie Luau.

AB positive punch

Zombie booger and zombies on a stick
As I told the grands, see my sorority time paid off, lookee at those napkins, TaDah

our favorite sweet and sour meatballs

yum, fruit salad

these zombies on a stick were so much fun to make

Pina colada cupcakes
Here's a ps to an earlier blog I wrote. I got a check for the full amount of my purchase for the Lantern Fest. I am a happy camper indeed.

Smooches and Squoozes lovelies,

Oma Linda